Is This Land Made for You and Me?

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Woody GuthrieThe traveling medicine show known as the race for the Republican presidential nomination has moved on from Iowa and New Hampshire, and all eyes are now on South Carolina.  Well, not exactly all.  At the moment, our eyes are fixed on some big news from the great state of Oklahoma, home of the legendary American folk singer Woody Guthrie, whose 100th birthday will be celebrated later this year.

Woody saw the ravages of the Dust Bowl and the Depression firsthand; his own family came unraveled in the worst hard times.  And he wrote tough yet lyrical stories about the men and women who struggled to survive, enduring the indignity of living life at the bone, with nothing to eat and no place to sleep.  He traveled from town to town, hitchhiking and stealing rides in railroad boxcars, singing his songs for spare change or a ham sandwich.  What professional success he had during his own lifetime, singing in concerts and on the radio, was often undone by politics and the restless urge to keep moving on. “So long, it’s been good to know you,” he sang, and off he would go.

What he wrote and sang about caused the oil potentates and preachers who ran Oklahoma to consider him radical and disreputable. For many years he was the state’s prodigal son, but times change, and that’s the big news.  Woody Guthrie has been rediscovered, even though Oklahoma’s more conservative than ever – one of the reddest of our red states with a governor who’s a favorite of the Tea Party.

The George Kaiser Family Foundation has bought Guthrie’s archives – his manuscripts, letters and journals. A center is being built in Tulsa that will make them available to scholars and visitors from all over the world.

Among its treasures is the original, handwritten copy of this song, Woody Guthrie’s most famous – This Land Is Your Land. The song extols the beauty of the country Guthrie traveled across again and again; its endless skyways and golden valleys, the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts. Yet his eye was clear, unclouded, and unobstructed by sentimentality, for he also wrote in its lyrics:

In the shadow of the steeple I saw my people,
By the relief office I seen my people;
As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking
Is this land made for you and me?

“Is this land made for you and me?” A mighty good question.  The biggest domestic story of our time is the collapse of the middle class, a sharp increase in the poor, and the huge transfer of wealth to the already rich.

In an era of gross inequality there’s both irony and relevance in Woody Guthrie’s song.  That “ribbon of highway” he made famous?  It’s faded and fraying in disrepair, the nation’s infrastructure of roads and bridges, once one of our glories, now a shambles because fixing them would require spending money, raising taxes, and pulling together.

This land is mostly owned not by you and me but by the winner-take-all super rich who have bought up open spaces, built mega-mansions, turned vast acres into private vistas, and distanced themselves as far as they can from the common lot of working people – the people Woody wrote and sang about.

True, Barack Obama asked Bruce Springsteen and Woody Guthrie’s longtime friend Pete Seeger to sing This Land is Your Land at that big, pre-inaugural concert the Sunday before he was sworn in. And sing they did, in the spirit of hope and change that President Obama had spun as the heart of his campaign rhetoric.

Today, whatever was real about that spirit has been bludgeoned by severe economic hardship for everyday Americans and by the cynical expedience of politicians  who wear the red-white-and-blue in their lapels and  sing “America the Beautiful” while serving the interests of  crony capitalists stuffing SuperPACs with millions of dollars harvested from the gross inequality destroying us from within.

But maybe – just maybe – the news that Woody Guthrie, once a pariah in his home state, has become a local hero is the harbinger of things to come, and that all the people who still believe this land is our land will begin to take it back.

Watch a video essay version of this piece

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  • Mkstrollo

    It always seems that history repeats itself.  The times that Woody Guthrie sang and wrote about are here again.  The recovery of the New Deal is being maligned by the children and grandchildren of so many who were aided back then.  Why do people have such little regard for the past and seem to want to embrace those horrible times again.  FDR wanted to  support the ailing middle class and today our “leaders” in Washington and many state capitols want to destroy it.  Woody we could use you now!

  • Anonymous

    Middle class has at least two meanings. People claim to be middle class even when they are struggling financially, because to be poor in the USA is perceived as revealing fatal flaws. For the majority demographic you’re either middle class or White trash. A sadistic undertone makes our society unforgiving of failure. And now we live in a time where data gathering makes it impossible for losers to reinvent  themselves. Frontiers are used up.

    I’ve always been an entertainer associating with artistic and rebellious types. To my ilk middle class means immersion in quotidian concerns. We think this category has sacrificed inventiveness and imagination for minimal and illusory security. The academic mindset that equates  those who have settled for a subdivision house and a minivan with mental stagnation fits the same effete profile. Activists are frustrated that  those living on credit never dissent or resist (or do they?) And yet, few creative types seem to find elan in acting like  responsible informed citizens.

    Woodie Guthrie  was decidedly not middle class in either of these senses. He rejected stability, property and security. Except in the Merchant Marine in WWII he remained too suspicious to conform. Some said he was White trash. Others said his irresponsibility was a precursor to his ALS. He could be quite selfish in his creative generosity and he often disappointed his loved ones. He asked who this land belongs to, but he already knew it should belong to everyone and that the rules said it had to belong to a few greedy ones. I might find it hard to wake up with Woodie visiting in my little house,  chainsmoking, sipping booze and messing up the kitchen, trying to romance his newest woman. But Woodie Guthrie is an archetype of the nexus of America’s contradictions. He embodied natural talent and energy refusing to be harnessed for private gain. He suffered and wandered so much because it’s not easy having all that going on inside.

  • Bill LaCroix

    Bill,
    When I read what you wrote about the Kaiser Foundation buying Woody’s archives the pit fell out of my stomach and I said “uh-oh…” I’ve recorded Woody’s songs and know that except for “This Land is Your Land” , small-scale musicians like myself, really the true children of Woody and Pete and all, have to pay some faceless entity for the right to “use” his songs. The only reason “This Land” is public domain is because an advocacy group fought for it and won. I paid $100 to an outfit to put my version of “Deportees” on 1000 CDs. If I ever do more, they can technically come after me and make me pay more. This was the antithesis of what Woody stood for and he said so on many, many occasions, and I’m outraged that big money can “own” our culture to the huge extent that it does. I would ask what the intent of the Kaiser Foundation is with “owning” all of Woody’s stuff. If it’s really altruism, let them prove it by donating it all to the National ARchives. I may be out there and need correcting , but I have excellent reason to  feel dread. At the time of Michael Jackson’s death (I believe) his estate “owned” the rights to almost all of the Beatles’ songs. ASCAP has come thru our little rural area in Western Montana several times, leaning on restaurant and bar owners to fork over “protectiion” money to them ($100s/year) for the “privilege” of letting the likes of me and other folkies play for tips and chump change. The inevitable result? Less and less places to play while corporate acts come in to Missoula and suck out all the disposable entertainment income people obviously still have, and our local (and I’d argue strongly our national) culture dies. Corporatism is a plague, and we allow its pox to disfigure our artistic endeavors at great peril to ourselves. Woody knew this very well. I object to the Kaiser Foundation “owning” Woody’s stuff insofar as it in any way crimps our peoples’ (Woody’s peoples’) knowledge of who he was and who we are. Also of where we’re going and why we’re in this handbasket.
    There…that said, you’re one of my heroes, too and thanks for all you’ve done and are doing.
    Best Regards, Bill LaCroix, 822 Sweathouse Creek Rd., Victor, MT 59875, 406-642-6400

  • HarryW

    Reading Moyer’s words, and knowing he’s returning to the airwaves gives me no small satisfaction. What the oligarchs (or, as I originally mistyped, but like: oilgarchs)  and corporatists are doing to this county–and the people who aid and abet them, mostly Rethugs but also many Dems–simply cries out for Moyer’s voice to be added to the mix of Occupy, to all those who are beginning to realize this country is TRULY in its 11th hour.

    Hooray, Bill!

  • HarryW

    Bill, contact me: I’m another old folkie!

  • TCinLA

    Yeah, Woody’s being “rehabilitated” in Oklahoma, in a museum that will
    push his “artistry” and “creativity” and whose director said would
    “downplay the politics.”  Woody without his politics is just some guy
    standing on a street corner asking for spare change. 

    It reminds me of
    six years ago when this New York “art intellectual” was given the
    contents of a suitcase once owned by Robert Capa that had 300 photos he
    took in the Spanish Civil War.  She put them up on a website, extolling
    their “composition” and “artistry.”  When I posted a description of the subject matter of three of the photos  – the aftermath of the
    bombing of Guernica, which I could tell since I knew the subject matter -
    she was all upset that I wanted to “make everything political.”  
    Robert Capa without his politics is some suburban moron with a throwaway
    instamatic taking pictures of the family barbecue.

    Both of their work only makes sense in the context of their times and the struggles they were personally part of. 

    I hope Arlo and his family got a lot of money for selling Woody out, because this “museum” isn’t going to be celebrating the whole person he was.

  • TCinLA

    Yeah, Woody’s being “rehabilitated” in Oklahoma, in a museum that will
    push his “artistry” and “creativity” and whose director has already  said would
    “downplay the politics.”  Woody without his politics is just some guy
    standing on a street corner asking for spare change. 

    It reminds me of
    six years ago when this New York “art intellectual” was given the
    contents of a suitcase once owned by Robert Capa that had 300 photos he
    took in the Spanish Civil War.  She put them up on a website, extolling
    their “composition” and “artistry.”  When I posted a description of what three of the photos were about – the aftermath of the
    bombing of Guernica, which I could tell since I knew the subject matter -
    she was all upset that I wanted to “make everything political.”  
    Robert Capa without his politics is some suburban moron with a throwaway
    instamatic taking pictures of the family barbecue.

    Both of these guys only make sense in terms of the struggle they were in, to which they put their art and their talent in the service of the cause, and to deny that is to deny who they were.

    I hope Arlo and his family got a lot of money for selling Woody out, because what’s going to happen is not going to be anything anyone who understands who Woody was and what he was about is going to be celebrating.

  • Just a Nurse

    How appropriate is the name of your street vis a vis the topic at hand and the frankness  of Woody’s message.

  • http://twitter.com/jbruce38 jbruce38
  • Belden Erhart

    NO.  Started as a colonial plantation.  STILL IS.  GOP Kabuki theater about as distant from reality as one could get.  Entire electoral process a farce.  50 different state ‘primary’ spectacles.  Special interest unconstitutional conventions.  Electoral College.  Finally, a politico Supreme court to
    guarantee the hustle rolls on.  Downs shift to state legislatures where they change voter registration ID requirements seasonally, redistrict irregardless of what is legal.  4th estate gives cover to all the subterfuge.  Think tank was disparaging Iraqis for having average IQ of 87.
    IF that so, US average IQ < 50.  

  • Ernesto Migoya

    Welcome back!

  • Granny

    We are on stolen land taken by force, and experienced wars ever since trying to prove it’s your land and mine.

  • Evaggelos Vallianatos, Ph.D.

    Thanks for this timely essay. Yes, this land was made for you and me, but, regrettably, most of that land has been taken over by agribusiness and the rich. In 2006, I wrote a book about this disaster: This Land is Their Land. The government and the rich work together to disinherit most Americans of their land and culture. America needs land reform. No person or corporation should own more than 160 acres: redistribute all the excess private land to millions who are capable and willing to grow food without toxins. That’s probably the only way rural America can be reborn. Woody Guthrie would love that. It would also be good for the quality of our food and, certainly, for our democracy.
    Evaggelos Vallianatos.

  • Alxzba

    Bill, do you know that the Kaiser Foundation is going to put a charge on Woody’s work or is this assumed?   

  • Grant William Brad Gerver

    I really enjoyed this article and the comments about it. Here’s mine:

    “Everybody Does Better When EVERYBODY Does Better” ~Jim Hightower, America’s #1 Populist ~ original blues protest song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWiZOOsa-g0
    “Grassroots Revolution” (original acoustic protest song) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m62lWOAvn_I

  • Anonymous

    Guthrie was only right about who this land was made for if “you and me” includes the web-of-life and its plant, animal, and mineral kingdoms.  It is Woody’s and our omission of the intelligence of nature in how we think and feel that throws our psyche out of balance. Is it any surprise that our disorders result on so many levels.

    It was excusable for Woody Guthrie to omit the self-correcting and restorative ways of the natural world and its right to life. Natural Attraction Ecology did not exist then.  It does exist now.  Bill Moyers, do you think it is your and Occupy Wall Street’s omission or denial of NAE that is a major part of the problem?  See SaneEarth.com for details. 

  • Anonymous

    During the Tebow fad every evangelical Christian was quoting the Bible to shore up their point of how Tebow and his crew are right about everything and the rest of us are stupid dogs that need to shut up and get with the foot on my neck agenda. I am Roman Catholic and have no intention of trading in my creed and traditions of faith , hope and charity for piety and prejudice that the evangelical is offering me. Which leads me to my point. I noticed sometimes people would give the same quote from many Bibles to prove their point with the date of the edition of the Bible.  What I noticed that Bibles printed after 1984 have been retranslated to favor the conservative evangelcal republican   agenda. The Christiann right are nofollowing

  • Anonymous

    Wow, a Bible that evolves or devolves with social consciousness. The King James version itself was an attempt (by state religion) to reinforce fading feudalistic divine right sovereignty (1611). Around 400 AD the canon (inspired writings to be included) was edited down by early Catholic officials so that nothing would conflict with their established practices or authority. We have since found a rich spiritual trove in the “lost books.”
    They were lost because they were suppressed and destroyed. Christianity has been controlled by a series of conspiracies and power grabs uncharacteristic of Christ’s teachings. Because all these writings evolved orally first before they were written, and then were translated from dead languages,  they share a character of contradiction and folk wisdom with equivalent legendary and cosmological literature in many cultures. It is humorous how the Bible is not coherent from one Chapter or verse to another and yet it delivers a gestalt accommodating differences among believers. You (fordneri) single out the Evangelical right wing as unique in their manipulation and gratuitous interpretation of a mystery text. Certainly they are not alone in their use of magical thinking in manipulating public opinion.  Maybe you mean to suggest that religious belief should be kept private so as not to bring spiritual conflict into the public sphere in our multicultural and cosmopolitan civilization. We have seen how magical thinking disagreements lead to condoned hatred, and how the “bullet box” tends to displace the ballot. (We need only look at Ireland to witness that Catholicism is not above violence.)

  • Anonymous

    Wow, a Bible that evolves or devolves with social consciousness. The King James version itself was an attempt (by state religion) to reinforce fading feudalistic divine right sovereignty (1611). Around 400 AD the canon (inspired writings to be included) was edited down by early Catholic officials so that nothing would conflict with their established practices or authority. We have since found a rich spiritual trove in the “lost books.”
    They were lost because they were suppressed and destroyed. Christianity has been controlled by a series of conspiracies and power grabs uncharacteristic of Christ’s teachings. Because all these writings evolved orally first before they were written, and then were translated from dead languages,  they share a character of contradiction and folk wisdom with equivalent legendary and cosmological literature in many cultures. It is humorous how the Bible is not coherent from one Chapter or verse to another and yet it delivers a gestalt accommodating differences among believers. You (fordneri) single out the Evangelical right wing as unique in their manipulation and gratuitous interpretation of a mystery text. Certainly they are not alone in their use of magical thinking in manipulating public opinion.  Maybe you mean to suggest that religious belief should be kept private so as not to bring spiritual conflict into the public sphere in our multicultural and cosmopolitan civilization. We have seen how magical thinking disagreements lead to condoned hatred, and how the “bullet box” tends to displace the ballot. (We need only look at Ireland to witness that Catholicism is not above violence.)

  • Anonymous

    Wow, a Bible that evolves or devolves with social consciousness. The King James version itself was an attempt (by state religion) to reinforce fading feudalistic divine right sovereignty (1611). Around 400 AD the canon (inspired writings to be included) was edited down by early Catholic officials so that nothing would conflict with their established practices or authority. We have since found a rich spiritual trove in the “lost books.”
    They were lost because they were suppressed and destroyed. Christianity has been controlled by a series of conspiracies and power grabs uncharacteristic of Christ’s teachings. Because all these writings evolved orally first before they were written, and then were translated from dead languages,  they share a character of contradiction and folk wisdom with equivalent legendary and cosmological literature in many cultures. It is humorous how the Bible is not coherent from one Chapter or verse to another and yet it delivers a gestalt accommodating differences among believers. You (fordneri) single out the Evangelical right wing as unique in their manipulation and gratuitous interpretation of a mystery text. Certainly they are not alone in their use of magical thinking in manipulating public opinion.  Maybe you mean to suggest that religious belief should be kept private so as not to bring spiritual conflict into the public sphere in our multicultural and cosmopolitan civilization. We have seen how magical thinking disagreements lead to condoned hatred, and how the “bullet box” tends to displace the ballot. (We need only look at Ireland to witness that Catholicism is not above violence.)

  • Mkstrollo

    I really liked your comments. Agribusiness is destroying small farms and producing unhealthy animals and plants which lead to unhealthy citizens. Old Tom Jefferson way back when believed the rural agrarian life was the best for all Americans, although he thought we would have many,many years before we would fill it up. Allowing these factory farms is the wrong approach, we definitely need land reform and return to healthy farming practices. Right On Evaggelos Vallianatos.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you, Mr. Moyers, for continuing to speak truth to power.  We need more like you.  I can now look forward to the weekends again!

  • Anonymous

    On April 6, 2007, I opened my column on real estate for the Chicago Sun-Times with this line: “Woody Guthrie is the Patron Saint of this real estate section.” http://www.sallyduros.com/?p=36

    That’s because I was shocked by what I was learning  about lending and housing and securities as the new Real Estate Editor of a major metro daily.  For far too long, our section had been  a fantasy land geared to peddle over-priced homes to people who could ill afford them. That column was my pledge to bring true coverage of housing and lending in all its flavors back to the section. And we did. Until I was laid off in January 2008.

  • Daveseace

    I wonder if people would recognize him. He was, and would be a guy fighting for the rights of the poor working people and THE UNIONS …. I’m talking about the working people who are trying to get a little better standard of living for their families by joining together. When I mentioned unions did you think of the unions that have been beaten down and maligned by big business, the press and the politicians or the union that represents a construction worker making $30,000 to $40,000  in a good year.  The corporations have gotten the working people to fight between themselves instead of organizing and now that collective bargaining is at an all time low I’m not sure people would recognize someone like Woody. By the way I belong to a construction union that didn’t have to beg the government for health care. I belong to a union that stressed buying American made goods. I belong to a union that teaches people to be good productive hard workers. And all we ask is a fair pay …. “we don’t want you millions mister.”
    Now right a way there will be people who will think of stories of how the high wages of union workers have run businesses into the ground. Why do you think those stories are so memorable? Because big business hates for the working person to have a little more money or a comfortable retirement, and they advertised those stories to make sure you wouldn’t forget. And they know “The boss won’t listen when one guy squawks, but he has to listen when the union talks.”
    One example would be: While it’s great the Rockefeller had a dream about a railroad, it still took millions of railroad ties and millions of feet of steel track and locomotives and train cars …… and all that labor to make the dream come true. That’s where the Irish, Chinese, Hungarian and so many other immigrants that performed that labor were so important.

  • Anonymous

    I too had an “uh-oh…” reaction to an entity “buying” Woody’s collection but was soothed a bit that it was the George Kaiser Family Foundation because I’ve sensed a consistent positive tone from Kaiser Foundation things throughout my time.  Creating a center in Tulsee Town also soothed me in that it is a place where dear friends nourished my spiritual and democratic spirit in a time of need and growth.  I’m going to hang onto some optimism for now but tuck away a readiness to act on your lessons about the corportist threat to our musical treasures.       

  • Meesto

    Welcome Back Bill! God Bless you and the late Woody Guthrie for standing up for and speaking the truth. I am a musician and weekend warrior for the OWS movement here in NYC.  I actually took the the liberty to rewrite and update the lyrics to Woody’s classic. Here are the lyrics and the youtube link of it’s debut at Zuccotti Park back in October.

    The corporations have taken over
    From California to the New York
    Island
    From the Redwood forest to the Gulf Stream Waters
    Democracy
    stolen from you and me!

    Ole’ Mayor Bloomberg increased his
    fortune
    from 4 to 20 billion during the worst recession since the
    depression
    Something stinks down on Wall Street!

    The banks got
    bailed out
    The people got sold out
    They got their bonuses
    We
    lost our houses!

    Greedy Greenspan, Summers and Cheney
    Mr
    Paulson’s bankers and cronies
    filled all their coffers but no job
    offers
    Democracy stolen from you and me!

    Free trade is not
    free
    Folks being exploited
    For cheap labor – no living wages!
    Jobs
    disappearing across the oceans
    Never to be seen again!

    10
    years at war in 2 different countries
    Killing for oil – wasting tax
    money
    $1 trillion dollars could have paid for
    Health Care and
    Education for everyone!

    Citizen’s United is an oxy moron
    Stupid
    Decision – corporation
    is not a person!

    Elections must be
    free of big money
    No more politicians becoming lobbyists
    No more
    revolving doors in Washington DC
    Democracy stolen from you and me!

    This
    land is your land, this land is my land
    From California to the New
    York Island
    From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream Waters
    This
    land was made for me and you!

  • Meesto

    Welcome Back Bill! God Bless you and the late Woody Guthrie for standing up for and speaking the truth. I am a musician and weekend warrior for the OWS movement here in NYC.  I actually took the the liberty to rewrite and update the lyrics to Woody’s classic. Here are the lyrics and the youtube link of it’s debut at Zuccotti Park back in October.

    The corporations have taken over
    From California to the New York
    Island
    From the Redwood forest to the Gulf Stream Waters
    Democracy
    stolen from you and me!

    Ole’ Mayor Bloomberg increased his
    fortune
    from 4 to 20 billion during the worst recession since the
    depression
    Something stinks down on Wall Street!

    The banks got
    bailed out
    The people got sold out
    They got their bonuses
    We
    lost our houses!

    Greedy Greenspan, Summers and Cheney
    Mr
    Paulson’s bankers and cronies
    filled all their coffers but no job
    offers
    Democracy stolen from you and me!

    Free trade is not
    free
    Folks being exploited
    For cheap labor – no living wages!
    Jobs
    disappearing across the oceans
    Never to be seen again!

    10
    years at war in 2 different countries
    Killing for oil – wasting tax
    money
    $1 trillion dollars could have paid for
    Health Care and
    Education for everyone!

    Citizen’s United is an oxy moron
    Stupid
    Decision – corporation
    is not a person!

    Elections must be
    free of big money
    No more politicians becoming lobbyists
    No more
    revolving doors in Washington DC
    Democracy stolen from you and me!

    This
    land is your land, this land is my land
    From California to the New
    York Island
    From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream Waters
    This
    land was made for me and you!

  • Anonymous

    Welcome Back Bill! God Bless you and the late Woody Guthrie for standing up for and speaking the truth. There is a NYC musician-artist-weekend warrior for the OWS movement who  took the the liberty to rewrite and update the lyrics to Woody’s classic. Here are the lyrics and the youtube link of it’s debut at Zuccotti Park back in October. 2011.

    The corporations have taken over
    From California to the New York
    Island
    From the Redwood forest to the Gulf Stream Waters
    Democracy
    stolen from you and me!

    Ole’ Mayor Bloomberg increased his
    fortune
    from 4 to 20 billion during the worst recession since the
    depression
    Something stinks down on Wall Street!

    The banks got
    bailed out
    The people got sold out
    They got their bonuses
    We
    lost our houses!

    Greedy Greenspan, Summers and Cheney
    Mr
    Paulson’s bankers and cronies
    filled all their coffers but no job
    offers
    Democracy stolen from you and me!

    Free trade is not
    free
    Folks being exploited
    For cheap labor – no living wages!
    Jobs
    disappearing across the oceans
    Never to be seen again!

    10
    years at war in 2 different countries
    Killing for oil – wasting tax
    money
    $1 trillion dollars could have paid for
    Health Care and
    Education for everyone!

    Citizen’s United is an oxy moron
    Stupid
    Decision – corporation
    is not a person!

    Elections must be
    free of big money
    No more politicians becoming lobbyists
    No more
    revolving doors in Washington DC
    Democracy stolen from you and me!

    This
    land is your land, this land is my land
    From California to the New
    York Island
    From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream Waters
    This
    land was made for me and you!

  • Anonymous

    Welcome Back Bill! God Bless you and the late Woody Guthrie for standing up for and speaking the truth. There is a NYC musician-artist-weekend warrior for the OWS movement who  took the the liberty to rewrite and update the lyrics to Woody’s classic. His name is Meesto. Here are the lyrics and the youtube link of it’s debut at Zuccotti Park back in October. 2011.

    The corporations have taken over
    From California to the New York
    Island
    From the Redwood forest to the Gulf Stream Waters
    Democracy
    stolen from you and me!

    Ole’ Mayor Bloomberg increased his
    fortune
    from 4 to 20 billion during the worst recession since the
    depression
    Something stinks down on Wall Street!

    The banks got
    bailed out
    The people got sold out
    They got their bonuses
    We
    lost our houses!

    Greedy Greenspan, Summers and Cheney
    Mr
    Paulson’s bankers and cronies
    filled all their coffers but no job
    offers
    Democracy stolen from you and me!

    Free trade is not
    free
    Folks being exploited
    For cheap labor – no living wages!
    Jobs
    disappearing across the oceans
    Never to be seen again!

    10
    years at war in 2 different countries
    Killing for oil – wasting tax
    money
    $1 trillion dollars could have paid for
    Health Care and
    Education for everyone!

    Citizen’s United is an oxy moron
    Stupid
    Decision – corporation
    is not a person!

    Elections must be
    free of big money
    No more politicians becoming lobbyists
    No more
    revolving doors in Washington DC
    Democracy stolen from you and me!

    This
    land is your land, this land is my land
    From California to the New
    York Island
    From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream Waters
    This
    land was made for me and you!

  • Anonymous

    Sorry about the multiple listings – the sorting was on popular so I did not see my comment!

  • Anonymous

    Privatization negates freedom of movement too.

  • Anonymous

    Guernica was a family barbecue?
    I guess Hitler and Franco barbecued some families.
    That art expert might have an apoplexy over the Picasso (same name).

  • Anonymous

    Pretty much the same thing happened to Martin Luther King.
    Their foibles were expunged along with their core message.
    They are commodities now thanks to a “free marketplace of ideas.”

  • Anonymous

    The present rules concerning intellectual property relegate it all to the 1%. Under present day law individuals have difficulty holding any patents, trademarks or royalty income. Corporations hoard everything and renew repeatedly. That’s why SOPA and PIPA are elitist.
    Maybe copyright should expire with the creators.

    To argue our case for justice and fairness we must command the proper names of our situation, but they pirate the words and phrases out of the air as we speak.

  • Anonymous

    Harry, give him your email or something.

  • Anonymous

    Some will rob you with a six-gun, (assault rifle)
    And some with a fountain pen. (computer program)

    There are so many empty houses,
    And there are so many homeless people.
    Capitalist speculation means both must spoil.

    Sally, did you ever get to publish the truth before you were fired?

  • Anonymous

    Congress is a Garden of Eden,
    Delightful to serve in or be.
    But after two years you’ll be out of your chairs,
    If you ain’t got the do-re-me.

  • Anonymous

    You can use edit to delete comments sometimes. I did. See where I said rats, and rats again?

  • Anonymous

    No harm done. It was entertaining and informative. Sometimes Discus malfunctions.

  • Anonymous

    You can see most of what I was able to write about in my Sun-Times columns on my website at sallyduros.com. TO be fair, I was laid off from my Sun-Times with about 50 others. Last hired. first fired.And I had written about all that I understood at that time. I was trying to understand the securitization process but wasn’t quite there, regrettably.

  • Mudkitten

    Thank You!!!!i could have not said it better!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Philip-Brzezinski/100003200758677 Philip Brzezinski

    I’d like to see someone do a cover of “Jolly Banker” one of my favorite Woody Guthrie songs, talking about how the bankers of the day were screwing people over (sound familiar??)

    Here in Ann Arbor MI, it should be changed to “Jolly Landlord”….

  • GradyLeeHoward

    You gave it your best try. Thank you.